By Rebecca Bassich
Library Director Appointed as International Ambassador for Malvern, Iowa
As Library Director, I had the great pleasure and privilege of welcoming international travelers Cora Weaver and Bruce Osborne from
Malvern, England, to our little town on Thursday, October 18, 2018. An exciting exchange of greetings and gifts took place, including several books about the unique history of Malvern, England, that have been written by our two visitors. These books are soon to become part of a new section in the library devoted to the history of both Malverns - ours and theirs - for readers to enjoy in their love of knowledge and pursuit of learning. One of the many highlights in our conversation was my learning that the library’s wall display of fictional character Aslan alongside the famous gas lamp from the Chronicles of Narnia series has a very concrete connection to the real world of Malvern, England. Author C.S. Lewis actually frequented the town of Malvern quite often for meetings with his close friend and fellow writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, at The Unicorn Inn. Standing right outside of this famous inn was the gas lamp that would inspire the first book of his beloved Narnia series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It is an image evoking one of the most iconic moments in children’s literature, and it is one that lives on within the very walls of our own Malvern Public Library. Imagine my excitement upon having this revelation! Our two Malverns are more connected than I ever thought possible, and I think it is quite evident in these times that our world is much smaller than we often think it to be...
Together, Bruce and Cora work actively as representatives for the Friends of Malvern Springs and Wells, an organization based out of Malvern, England, devoted solely to the effort of fostering international friendship amongst all Malverns around the world. They are visiting us for the very special occasion of the internationally observed Malvern Appreciation Day held every October 19, which was first established by Mayor Patricia Norris-McDonald of Malverne, New York, in 2017. Their travels continue to take them to every corner of the globe in their pursuit of friendship, including Australia, New Zealand and the numerous Malverns found here in the United States, with ours being the latest stop in their travels. I feel so fortunate to have met Cora and Bruce and to have been honored with the appointment as their organization’s international ambassador for Malvern, Iowa. In turn, Bruce and Cora have been made honorary members of the Friends of the Malvern Public Library. Our community is all the more fortunate to have had them visit us this fall, and I look forward to our many years of friendship going forward.
Did you know that Malvern, England, was the first and original Malvern to be founded in the world? During the reign of Edward the Confessor, Saint Werstan established his religious cell in what became known as Malvern. It was this religious order that eventually resulted in the founding of the medieval Great Malvern Priory in England. Saint Werstan was killed by the Celts within three years, who objected to his intrusion, and thus became Malvern’s Founding Martyr Saint and Patron Saint of their springs and wells. Malvern Spring Waters flow out from the Malvern Hills in England and trigger abundant life in the surrounding lands, a metaphor for the friendship percolating throughout Malverns worldwide.
If you would like to learn more about the mission and works of Friends of Malvern Springs and Wells, please visit Cora and Bruce online at: www. MalvernsWorldwide.info !
Calling all volunteers!
Gardeners needed for every season - Weeding, Watering, Beautifying!
Three plots are available for adoption! Weed barrier and mulch to be provided in the spring.
Benefits included: Receive a free book of your choosing for every work day; Recognition in the Press & on Social Media; Free Hot Cup of Coffee every Monday through Friday.
Sign up in the library today!
A CHRISTMAS CAROL CELEBRATION:
DECEMBER 1st @ 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Caroling - Holiday Memories - Victorian Costume Party
Join us for Caroling and Come Dressed in your Victorian Best (optional)! Explore Charles Dickens’ most iconic work with local historian, Michael Formhals! All ages admitted - Free Egg Nog & Christmas Pudding for all!
As Library Director here at our Malvern Public Library, you can count on me for all the latest on books, events, programs & more!